GIS - 27 February, 2020: The Republic of Kenya has been elected as the Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) for a period of two years. Mauritius, as the outgoing Chair, organised a handing over ceremony this morning at the Sofitel Mauritius in Flic-en-Flac to ensure smooth transition of all CGPCS dossiers to the new Chair.
On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, and the Ambassador, Defence Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of Kenya and the incoming Chair of CGPCS, Dr Monica Juma, as well as other eminent personalities were present.
In his keynote address, Minister Bodha underlined that Mauritius and Kenya share deep and enduring partnership cemented by bilateral ties and cooperation in the field of Sustainable Development. The determination of Kenya to chair the CGPCS, he said, is a testimony of the interest that the country has in ensuring maritime security and pave the way forward to curb the proliferation of maritime crime, drug and human trafficking, terrorism as well as climate change.
With regard to the achievements of Mauritius as the outgoing Chair, he highlighted that several initiatives were undertaken to consolidate the vision of the CGPCS. These include: organisation of annual plenary session; participation in key conferences such as Sustainable Blue Economy conference in Kenya and high-level symposium on Capacity building for maritime security in Nairobi; Chair intervention in cases of Premature release of pirates in Somali; and CGPCS Strategic review to bring a reorientation for optimal results.
The Minister observed that regional cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean is key to the development of a stronger Blue Economy. Coordination and close monitoring through enhanced maritime surveillance, patrols and capacity building will help ensure long-term sustainability of mechanisms and actions in the region, he added.
For her part, Dr Juma stated that maritime security is key to Kenya’s national security as well as ESA-IO countries since it is directly linked to economic growth, employment, social and political stability. Kenya, she said, will work with all member states and stakeholders to ensure that necessary efforts are being invested to deter and combat piracy activities.
According to her, the Chairmanship will provide Kenya with the opportunity to coordinate regional and international efforts for effective implementation of counter-piracy programmes. As Chair, she reiterated, Kenya will endeavour to display strong leadership, consolidate the work done by previous chairs and secure the legacy of the CGPCS.
The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
The CGPCS was created in January 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851. This voluntary ad hoc international forum brings together countries, organisations, and industry groups with an interest in combating piracy. Participants seek to coordinate political, military, industry, and non-governmental efforts to bring an end to piracy off the coast of Somalia and to ensure that pirates are brought to justice.
The chairmanship will afford Kenya the opportunity to coordinate regional and international efforts to deal with the challenge of piracy which remains a threat to the Maritime sector, despite being suppressed in recent times.
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